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Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term "continent" can incorporate cultural and political elements. Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 countries, Russia is by far the largest by both area and population, taking up 40% of the continent (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia), while Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 733-739 million or about 11% of the world's population.The most commonly used currency is the euro.Europe, in particular Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, is the birthplace of Western culture.It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 15th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain around the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic, cultural, and social change in Western Europe, and eventually the wider world. Demographic growth meant that, by 1900, Europe's share of the world's population was 25%. Both world wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence.During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the revolutions of 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Union nowadays has growing influence over its member countries. Many European countries are members of the Schengen Area, which abolishes border and immigration controls among its members.
GeographyEditEurope is a peninsula that makes up the western fifth of the Eurasian landmass.Its maritime borders are made up of the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean, Black, and
Caspian Seas to the southLand relief in Europe shows great variation within relatively small areas. The southern regions are more mountainous, while moving north the terrain descends from the high Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathians, through hilly uplands, into broad, low northern plains, which are vast in the east. This extended lowland is known as the Great European Plain, and at its heart lies the North German Plain. An arc of uplands also exists along the north-western seaboard, which begins in the western parts of the islands of Britain and Ireland, and then continues along the mountainous, fjord-cut spine of Norway.This description is simplified. Sub-regions such as the Iberian Peninsula and the Italian Peninsula contain their own complex features, as does mainland Central Europe itself, where the relief contains many plateaus, river valleys and basins that complicate the general trend. Sub-regions like Iceland, Britain, and Ireland are special cases. The former is a land unto itself in the northern ocean which is counted as part of Europe, while the latter are upland areas that were once joined to the mainland until rising sea levels cut them off.
ClimateEditEurope lies mainly in the temperate climate zones, being subjected to prevailing westerlies.The climate is milder in comparison to other areas of the same latitude around the globe due to the influenceof the Gulf Stream.[The Gulf Stream is nicknamed "Europe's central heating", because it makes Europe's climate warmer and wetter than it would otherwise be. The Gulf Stream not only carries warm water to Europe's coast but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean.
Therefore the average temperature throughout the year of Naples is 16 °C (60.8 °F), while it is only 12 °C (53.6 °F) in New York City which is almost on the same latitude. Berlin, Germany; Calgary, Canada; and Irkutsk, in the Asian part of Russia, lie on around the same latitude; January temperatures in Berlin average around 8 °C (15 °F) higher than those in Calgary, and they are almost 22 °C (40 °F) higher than average temperatures in Irkutsk.
Europe in World War ZEdit
In France, an interview in the book talks about clearing the Catacombs of Paris, subterranean tunnels that have existed below the city since the times of the Roman Empire. During the Reclamation of Paris they were cleared, in what is regarded as one of the worst battles of the entire war. The French Army suffered heavy casualties. As a matter of restoring national pride, France refused to incrementally clear the zombies in Paris, and instead rapidly cleared out the city, knowing that they would incur massive casualties. As in Britain, many old castles reverted to their former usage during the war and held out through most of it. Many refugees had attempted to take shelter in the Palace of Versailles, not realizing that it was little more than a large fancy house. It apparently was overrun and suffered a devastating fire, and France later placed their wartime national monument on its ashes.
Great Britain and its government appear to have survived relatively intact. The British "supreme command" is relocated to Scotland after establishing a massive defensive line along the Antonine Wall. The British Royal Family dispersed to Ireland and the Isle of Man. Scotland and Ireland were the main Safe Zones for the British Isles. South of Scotland, many castles were used by survivors as safe zones. Queen Elizabeth II, at her own insistence, remained at Windsor Castle with a sizeable community of survivors, serving as an example for morale purposes in an effort reminiscent of her parents' efforts during the Blitz in WWII. She also gave all her estates to anyone who could reach and fortify them. The base at Windsor began drilling an untapped oil well, which led to England being a major producer of oil after the war. Beaumaris, a village on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales was converted into a fully functioning castle against the undead, Before the war it was merely a museum "a hollow shell of roofless chambers and high concentric walls". Conwy, a coastal medieval walled town also in North Wales, served as a base from which British forces launched the Reclamation of Britain and allowed its inhabitants to live in safety and relative comfort during the stalemate years. Unlike France, Britain took its time retaking London, taking about five years to clear its capital. Britain also developed the system of "fortified elevated motorways" that became popular after the war. The island of Ireland fared particularly well, avoiding any major outbreaks and serving as a safe haven to the British Royal Family, the Pope as well as countless civilians. In the book, it is also suggested that the island was finally re-unified shortly after the end of the war due to the fact that in interviews there was no distinction made between Northern Ireland (a part of the U.K.) and the Republic of Ireland.
In Germany, the forces of the Northern Command established a safe zone behind the Baltic Sea-North Sea canal (a narrow strip of land that "might as well have been fucking Denmark!"), sacrificing their "Rapid Reaction Stabilization" units as rearguard. It is implied that the Southern command established a safe zone in the Bavarian Alps. Because Germany's major cities are heavily populated, it can be assumed that Germany was one of the hardest hit countries in Europe. The Netherlands is mentioned. A number of survivors were hidding inside the Muiderslot (castle) until they fell victim to a disease and died.
In Spain, many refugees were able to survive in medieval castles. It can be assumed that the country's relatively low population density and the mountainous nature of parts of its territory helped these survivors to make it through the infection. Many of those who did flee chose Cuba, due to existing pre-war ties. Spain ended up better off than other parts of Europe and it is probable that it along with most of the Iberian penisula became one of the first safe zones. It is unclear as to what fate Portugal suffered, but it is safe to assume that its experience was no different to its neighboring country's own one.
Russia was badly affected by the zombie outbreak. Owing to the country's size, the Russians were forced to contend with roaming zombie hordes from Eastern Europe, China, and the countries of Central Asia. The Russian military, despite being a significant military power in the world, fared little better than the U.S. and Chinese militaries, and eventually it erupted into rebellion, in response to which the Ministry of Defense instituted a policy of Decimation. The Russian military retreated to a Safe Zone in Siberia, abandoning their territory west of the Ural Mountains, which due to its high population was heavily infected (combined with bordering the zombie hordes from other populous countries in Western Europe). The only real advantage Russia had was the mountains of weapons and ammunition left over from the Soviet Union. While this meant that the Russian military could continue to function even after most of their industrial base for producing new weapons was overwhelmed, it also meant that many units were sent into battle with nothing but WWII-vintage Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles . Such primitive weapons and the sheer size of Russian territory made it impossible to use the tactics employed in many other parts of the world, particularly luring zombie hordes toward reinforced squares. Instead, the fighting was characterized as a close-quarters brawl with massive casualties. Russia did have a second "advantage" of a sort in its old ally "General Winter": even the massive zombie hordes pressing north from China would be slowed by the colder temperatures of Siberia. Even so, after their massive losses in the first year of the war, the Russians had to resort to walling off their remaining cities so they coulld be cleared incrementally. The Russian population was so drastically reduced that even within the small remaining population, only a tiny handful of fertile women managed to survive through the end of the war, without succumbing to combat, malnutrition, abuse, drugs, or sexually transmitted diseases. With fertile women now considered a precious and finite resource, many volunteered for government breeding programs to serve as broodmares to attempt to make up for the drastic population loss. Ironically, while Siberia served as Russia's Safe Zone during the war - while zombie hordes from Western Europe battered the mountain passes in the Urals - Siberia itself was never fully cleared of zombies. Inherently, isolated zombies that froze solid in the vast unguarded wastes of Sibera would go unnoticed for years, so it is still technically a "White Zone" even a decade after the official end of the war. Russia was eventually replaced by an expansionist theocracy known as the Holy Russian Empire. It is mentioned that they have regained several ex-Soviet states through conquest, including Belarus (though many of them had been so depopulated by the zombies that the Russians simply "liberated" them from the undead). Ukraine was forced to evacuate its government to Sevastopol. Stockpiles of Cold War-era chemical weapons were used to kill refugees (and stop the infected among them). The country is supposedly on the verge of a Russian takeover.
Iceland is mentioned as being completely overrun and having one of the world's highest concentrations of undead, as it provided a haven for a multitude of refugees from Europe but had almost no military power to fight the spread of the undead. Finland was another zombie-overrun country. However, clearing operations were in progress at the time of the author's tour. Refugees came to Iceland and Finland so the zombies would freeze, but these countries could not handle the sudden influx of civilians and infected. The refugees didn't live to see the first winter.
It is unclear what happened to other areas of Europe during World War Z. However, it can be assumed that countries in Central Europe survived in some form or another - especially in light of a reference to "Bohemia", which is currently a region encompassing the western two-thirds of the Czech Republic. It was said that many European countries dealt with the problem of incarcerated felons by dumping the prisoners into infested White Zones, something the United States refrained from doing, and for a very good reason. The environment of a prison makes an already amoral and violent criminal resourceful, constantly alert for danger, and able to improvise a weapon from anything. Many of these ex-cons not only survived the zombies, but also wound up commanding their own independent, and sometimes very powerful, fiefdoms. A few of these became so powerful that their former nations were unable to reclaim the territory, and the map of Europe had to be redrawn to include these new countries.